Prosthetic feet behave like springs, and their stiffness affects amputees' stability, comfort, and energy used for walking. Despite the importance of stiffness in walking, amputees usually only try out a couple of prostheses before receiving one, which may result in patients receiving a foot with poor performance.

Using a variable-stiffness ankle prosthesis, we tested how well amputees can select their preferred stiffness and how well they can detect changes in the stiffness of their prosthesis.

We found that amputees are highly sensitive to the stiffness of their prosthesis and that clinicians should do more to tailor each prosthesis to the individual patient.

Learn More (Human-machine Interaction)

Skills Developed:

  • Data Analysis (MATLAB)

  • Experimental Design

  • Human-subjects Testing